AdviceArts and CultureNew YorkPoliticsSan Francisco

I’m a Conservative Who Supports Bernie Sanders, Here’s Why

Updated: Jun 22, 2022 07:58
The Bay's best newsletter for underground events & news
conservative Bernie Sanders

photo from Crooks & Liars

Guest Post by Bill Norman

My name is Bill Norman. I’m a life-long conservative and I support Bernie Sanders. Here’s why:

Through a degree in Political Science from the liberal bastion of University of Wisconsin – Madison, I retained a belief in personal responsibility, reverence for the Constitution, and an unshaken faith in the power of government to stifle innovation. My flirtation with Conservatism started – as these stories often do – at that awkward stage between adolescence and adulthood. A well-meaning friend says “Hey, have you read The Fountainhead yet – there’s some really profound shit in there” – and with that, I fell down the rabbit-hole of Ayn Rand’s morally fraudulent pseudo-philosophy of Objectivism. For those who are uninitiated, Objectivism is the libertarian bible, a belief-system that argues for selfishness as a virtue. And like so many, I found myself lost in the mire of this McPhilosophy, expounding to all that would listen, “why Liberalism would be the death of our society!!”

It was through these leanings that I celebrated the “compassionate conservatism” of George W. Bush, mourned the tragedy of 9/11, and trusted in the justifications for our “intervention” in Iraq. Drowning in the leftist sea of Madison, WI., I proudly stuck to my guns while the bumper stickers around me protested “No more blood for oil!” I laughed at their ignorance. I knew that the world was more complicated than that – energy security is national security, and if we could deliver an Uncle Sam-sized dose of Democracy at the same time, were we not virtuous?


Ayn Rand and Atlas Shrugging, of course. image from imaginative conservative

But as the years passed, cracks started to develop in the foundation of my convictions. In my beloved Wisconsin, our legislature passed a Constitutional amendment against Gay Marriage – one of those pet peeves of the right that never made ideological sense to me. I sought a logically consistent argument for how this fit with the party of personal responsibility and freedom from government tyranny, and found only electoral convenience. Governor Walker rose to power here, bringing with him the rage of the Tea Party – a group that knows the system is rigged against them, yet consistently fails to see that the rich oligarchs are the source of their misery. And with the Republicans sweeping to power in Wisconsin we saw a war against Civil Servants, gerrymandering that would make even the most cynical machine boss blush, an assault on our tradition of transparent government, and the dissolution of independent electoral oversight. Nationally, a trend of xenophobia aimed at immigrants, Muslims, and homosexuals has provided vulnerable scapegoat populations for the new right-wing to focus their frustration on.

In the midst of all of this, I asked myself “what does it mean to be a Conservative?” I reflected back on my role-model, Grandpa Russ, – whose belly-laughs and charitable nature provided the evidence that conservatism is a belief structure based in love.   Would Grandpa Russ stand for minorities being lambasted for the purposes of political expediency? How would he feel about electoral districts being drawn in such a way as to stack the deck impossibly against the true voice of the people? Grandpa Russ believed in fair play, even if it didn’t work out in his favor. He spent his retirement working with disadvantaged minorities in our community, and every Friday served free meals to all that were in need. A life-long Republican, if he were alive today, he would no longer be welcome in the Party of Abe Lincoln.


“Yup, I’ll be selling all of you out so that corporations could make more money!” – Scott Walker

The Republican Party of 2016 in no way advocates for Conservatism in America any longer. Eisenhower’s 1960 Civil Rights Act would be lost on a party that dispenses with due process, advocates for curtailing religious freedom, and believes that torture doesn’t diminish international prestige. Where the Republican Party once governed with a top marginal tax rate of 90%, they now claim 39% is “soaking” the rich. And all the while, they force austerity on our educational institutions and claim ownership of the word Patriot, challenging any application of it to some standing in the way of funding military hardware. Pay the Pentagon indeed, but ignore the wounded warriors wasting away at Walter Reed. And on that subject, the reckless push to deliver Democracy to a sovereign nation by force stands in sharp contrast to Ike’s proclamation to “hate war as only a soldier who has lived it can, only as one who has seen its brutality, its futility, its stupidity.”

Growing up in 1980’s America, I was told that the thing that separated us from the godless Communists was this silver shrine of Democracy, a sacred principle worth giving your life to preserve. And while the Democratic Party hasn’t always been an ally to this cause, the current Republican Party has transformed America into an oligarchy. We live in a nation where the politicians choose their voters, and where a corporation’s right to free speech overrides our individual right to have a government “for the people, by the people.” And while I can’t excuse President Obama for continuing these shameful practices, I won’t forgive George W. Bush for the implementation of “Free Speech Zones,” endless incarceration without due process at Guantanamo Bay, and the wholesale rape of privacy at the hands of the NSA. Democracy in America is dying, and a pox on both houses for their contributions.

How things have changed over the years, since those halcyon days of the Cold War. Without the spectre of the Soviets, it seems the Republican Party has shifted its focus from communism to the common man. If he were alive today, what would a good man like Grandpa Russ do? He worked with his hands his entire life, held principle and integrity as his highest ideals, and would never stand for a system rigged against the honest. I have to expect he would vote for Bernie Sanders, a socialist Jew from Brooklyn.

bernie sanders poverty

image from Pinterest

Picturing a man who listened to conservative talk radio voting for an avowed Democratic Socialist requires flexibility of mindset, but I don’t think it’s far-fetched. It’s a tough sell to ask an adherent of ANY ideology to be open to an argument that runs counter to all that you’ve believed. Grandpa Russ – an adequate stand-in for the average conservative American – was not that far off from his counter-part on the left. The average American – regardless of party affiliation – is concerned about wage stagnation, where incomes have not kept pace with inflation. They’re worried about making sure their kids get to school safely, receive a quality education, and have a fair chance to access higher education and quality jobs afterward. Americans of all stripes want moral authority and respect on the global stage and would appreciate a peaceful resolution to our differences with other countries and cultures. Excepting either side’s lunatic fringe, a clear majority of Americans have a similar view of where we’d like to be – we just disagree on how to get there.

So why does too much of America look like the 3rd World? Why have Detroit and Oakland become places where we can’t even maintain street lights, no less a police response under an hour? How is it that Californians are being asked to ration their water in the same state where corporate headquarters keep fountains flowing? Shouldn’t we be shocked that FEMA justifies its lack of response to the poisoned water of Flint, MI by hiding behind a mandate to relieve NATURAL disasters – as opposed to government disasters? How is it that China has trains that look like this, and our trains look like this?

The answer is that establishment Republicans and Democrats have kept us distracted in the midst of a bank-heist on a scale nearly impossible to measure. They’ve manufactured controversies in the fields of reproductive rights, gay marriage and guns as a pawn to keep us invested in supporting “our team” – but we never made the team in the first place. At best, we were invited to try-outs so the Alpha kids could laugh at us. Don’t let me be misunderstood, human rights, guns, and other wedge topics are important issues that deserve attention and resolution. But they pale in comparison to the theft of our very democracy at the hands of the ultra-wealthy. The very same suffering that creates consternation for radical socialists and Tea-Party Republicans shares a root cause – that we have been disenfranchised by a system that allows corporations and the elite to buy elections.


image from nsnbc

In 2016, there is one candidate that has staked his entire campaign on restoring Democracy and countering the lunatic fringe of wealth-holders. I still believe in personal responsibility, and I worry that if we go too far, we could incentivize failure. I want to live in an America where common-sense tells me to wear a seat-belt, not an officer with a gun. I want the continued right to carry on my proud Wisconsin heritage and engage in our annual deer hunt with the weapon of my choice. My beliefs may have evolved, but I still proudly carry the mantle of true conservatism. In a plural society, I know that the price I pay for Democracy is that I may not always get my way – and I’m willing to sacrifice if it means we get our country back. Countless soldiers have given their lives to defend the idea of America, so what does it cost us to give way on some of our wish-list? A vote for Bernie Sanders will enshrine as inviolable the rights of a man to love another man, and I know that some Republicans shudder at the idea. But is it not better to have an America where your beliefs and vote have an actual impact in that national debate? A Sanders victory will codify the momentum being built towards a mandate for health care as a right, and many of my conservative friends couldn’t disagree more. Surely they can understand that their voices on this topic are not currently being heard – a vote to restore Democracy is the logical step toward victory.

Bernie Sanders is not a panacea against all that ails our society. He has said from the beginning of his campaign that he is here to ignite the fire of a political revolution – a movement to mobilize everyday Americans to demand accountability from our political establishment. There are plenty of arguments that dismiss Sanders – he’s too old, he won’t have a compliant Congress, the people won’t tolerate a Socialist, et al. These criticisms miss the point – Bernie is a rallying point, a symbol of the progress Americans are clamoring for. Bernie Sanders stands in defense of the common American and speaks to an anger common to both progressives and the average Trump supporter. America is demanding democracy, and the groundswell of support for Bernie Sanders is how we move towards reclaiming it. Once we have a government accountable to Americans again, we can re-engage on the points we disagree upon.  What is the point in arguing if our voices aren’t even heard in the first place? While Donald Trump has channeled the anger and frustration of the disaffected into a frothy rage, Bernie has kept a positive message of the future we can share in – a future that includes all of us. I believe in personal responsibility, democracy, self-determination, capitalism and the creation of the greatest society on this planet. I firmly believe that electing Bernie Sanders is the conservative thing to do.

Bill Norman holds a B.S. in Political Science from the University of Wisconsin – Madison, and is the owner of Earthlight of Wisconsin and Gorham Street Productions.  He travels regularly to Indonesia in furtherance of his research into the impacts of Lassez-faire governance in developing nations.

Like this article? Make sure to sign up for our mailing list so you never miss a goddamn thing!
Previous post

Is Sparky's Diner Closed for Good?

Next post

Game Of Thrones Themed Pop-up Feasts in SF

Guest Writer

Guest Writer

We write for busboys, poets, social workers, students, artists, musicians, magicians, mathematicians, maniacs, yodelers and everyone else out there who wants to enjoy life not as a rich person, but as a real person. Namely, we write for you.

We’re currently looking to expand our author pool. If you’re snarky, know what’s happening in your town, and good at making your fingers type out funny words, then you might be just the person we’re looking for. Email with some writing samples if you're interested. Cheers


  1. February 15, 2016 at 11:48 pm

    That was excellent. Welcome to the team, Bill!

  2. baruchzed
    February 16, 2016 at 11:05 am

    Thank you, not only for writing this, but for your intelligent open mind.

  3. Swarn Gill
    February 16, 2016 at 11:24 am

    Excellently said. Really great article. I think you have a really good attitude. As a Bernie supporter myself I am often criticized by liberals for not voting for Hillary…people don’t get it. As long as we keep voting for establishment politicians things really won’t get better for us. Bernie is the only candidate who wants to have important discussions we need to have, and who wants to work for the people. That’s huge, even if one doesn’t like all his policies, it opens the door for more meaningful elections down the road. We can vote in Hillary or Rubio, but we know how it’s going to go. We know exactly where that road leads, and it’s the same one we’ve been walking down for awhile and it needs to be over, because that road only leads to more division and partisanship and continuing to distract citizens from the real villains so that we instead point our fingers at each other.

    • August West
      February 16, 2016 at 6:23 pm

      Bernie has been in government his entire adult working life. Tell me again how he is not part of the establishment??? If you look at the definition of “establishment politician” there is a photograph of. Bernie Sanders.

      • billious
        February 16, 2016 at 7:35 pm

        August, that’s a fair point – but I don’t think it quite connects. You can be a musician your whole life without being a sellout. Bernie’s fight against money and oligarchy in politics goes all the way back to his origins. He’s been fighting the good fight from within the system, and that’s attractive to people like me who care about good governance.

      • Disqus_still_sucks
        February 18, 2016 at 6:23 pm

        “You can be a musician your whole life without being a sellout.” ….
        “(S)He’s been fighting the good fight from within the system, and that’s attractive to people like me who care about good governance.”

        Funny, that sounds like a perfect description of Hillary Clinton.

      • RON_KING
        February 18, 2016 at 10:30 pm

        Not so much. When Bernie was protesting discrimination AND getting arrested for it, Hillary was working to elect Goldwater. When Bernie was on the mall with MLK, Hillary was a Young Republican. When Bill signed the Banking Modernization Act that Hillary stumped for, Bernie voted against it. When Hillary voted FOR the Iraq invasion, Bernie voted against it. Hillary voted FOR the Patriot Act twice, Bernie voted against it TWICE. Hillary promoted NAFTA, CAFTA, TPIP and TPP. Bernie opposed all these. Hillary supported Keystone XL. Bernie never did.

        Hillary’s been fighting the good fight for corporate interests. Bernie’s been fighting for us. You still think they’re the same?

      • Jonat
        February 16, 2016 at 9:27 pm

        He’s been in government as an independent for almost all of his career. He sits with the Democrats for logistical purposes but he’s far from being a member of the Democrat Party. You don’t think being successful in politics outside of the party system count as not being a part of the “establishment?”

      • Swarn Gill
        February 17, 2016 at 12:29 am

        Being a politician all your life is not what defines an establishment politician.

      • Endgame
        February 18, 2016 at 8:51 am

        He has worked IN the establishment and AGAINST the establishment but has never been a PART of the establishment. Try running that through your mind and actually THINK before you type crap.

  4. captbuzzkill
    February 16, 2016 at 5:35 pm

    I saw nothing there that distinguished Bernie from Hillary. I saw nothing ther to justify the employment of right-wing splatter tactics against Hillary by Bernie supporters.

    And before dismissing me as a moron, assume for the sake of argument that I am smart enough to know what I am talking about. Then show me where I missed something important.

    • billious
      February 16, 2016 at 7:33 pm

      What’s happening Buzzkill? First off, I’d never call you a moron – I have a central belief that things will never get better so long as we’re tearing each other down. I have a belief that Bernie is the answer to what ails us, and I have what I believe to be some strong arguments in favor of that – but that’s not meant to denigrate those who haven’t come to the same conclusion.

      As for not distinguishing Bernie from Hillary in this piece, I guess that’s because this article wasn’t about that. Maybe Broke Ass Stuart will invite me to write that, or will leave it to someone more qualified. Either way, thanks for reading!

      • captbuzzkill
        February 18, 2016 at 2:13 pm

        Nothing personal, Bill. It stems from my experiences lately. Differences of opinion are part of human society, and there are people who are easily offended by opinions different from their own.

        I would like to see some relevant, valid points made as to why Hillary is unfit, or why Bernie is a superior choice. Not references to Bill’s sexual proclivities – he’s been impeached for that already, and she’s not the guilty party. Not references to Bernie’s activities in the 60s, because he wasn’t running to be the president of the US then – and he is now.

        Relevant, pertinent, valid facts, encompassing the two biggest parts of the president’s job: domestic and foreign policy.

        That’s not asking too much, is it?

      • TT
        February 19, 2016 at 4:10 am

        How about Goldman Sachs, Patriot Act, TTIP, Iraq War… In fact, practically anything at all involving civic morality or ‘liberal’ judgement.

      • divinity11
        March 31, 2016 at 6:15 pm

        Asher Edelman and Steve Wozniak support Bernie.

        You should think long and hard about that.

  5. gsnarks
    February 16, 2016 at 9:56 pm

    I’ve long lamented that there is no true conservative counterweight to the oiligarcy (no typo) that runs our country. As a progressive who supports Trump AND Sanders for their willingness to stand up to the political establishment (just as I supported both the early Tea Party AND Occupy Wall Street), I think we may have found that voice in young Mr. Norman here.

    Well done, son! I hope to hear much more from you in the coming years as we slowly restore a populist democracy to Our America.
    Grandpa Russ would be so proud.

  6. RPDC
    February 16, 2016 at 10:36 pm

    Excellent piece, solid analysis, and ideal conclusion. I’m hopeful that more and more libertarians and honest capitalists reach the same conclusion. There are a host of reasons to do so.
    Civil Liberties
    — The F’ing Patriot Act – Sanders voted against it every time, including in 2001 in the House. Last year, he penned an op-ed titled “It’s Time To End Orwellian Surveillance of Every American.”
    — The Drug War – Sanders wants to end it.
    — Civil Rights – for 50 years, he’s been fighting for civil rights, and any self-respecting libertarian has to tip their cap to a person who supported LGBT rights in the 60s, and was arrested for protesting segregation.
    — Gun Control – he supports allowing states to choose for themselves, and recognizes that Vermont and DC are very different places in this respect.
    — Sanders started his political life in “The Liberty Party.” Read his open letter to the Governor of Vermont from the 70s. An excerpt: “Probably the most alarming aspect of the Nixon administration has been the gradual erosion of freedoms and the sense of what freedom really means. The Liberty Union believe that there are entirely too many laws that regulate human behavior. Let us abolish all laws which attempt to impose a particular brand of morality or ‘right’ on people. Let’s abolish all laws dealing with abortion, drugs, sexual behavior (adultery, homosexuality, etc.)”

    Foreign Policy
    — He’s not Rand, but he’s damn sure better than anyone other than Trump. This is his weak spot, but he was fervently antiwar during Vietnam, opposed regime change in Nicaragua, and opposed the Iraq War. In other words, he’s right when it counts. That said, he has a long way to go re cutting military spending. Note that the largest Peace Action endorsed him, their first in 25 years.
    — I’d also note that being our first Jewish President might give him the political cover necessary to finally stand up to Israel and reset our entire toxic relationship.

    — We haven’t had capitalism for 35 years. We have a state-managed economy, it’s just that the management is done at the behest of oligarchs, making it fascist rather than communist. The Military-Industrial-Surveillance Complex, Wall Street, Energy, Big Ag – all of those industries are fully insured and protected by the state, in many cases monopsonies that only buy from the state (with our $).
    — Capitalism requires competition and risk of failure. Otherwise it’s not capitalism. Take both away, and you get the rotting corpse of an economy that we have today. TBTF is anathema. Capitalism without Bankruptcy is Catholicism without Hell.
    — Health Care – we’re never going back to free market; that ship has sailed. We also don’t each have to build our own roads, which seems like a good thing. The point is that removing health care from the equation for business owners will be a boon to the economy. Hiring people is made materially harder because of health care. Right now, health care is a millstone, drowning consumer confidence because people are terrified of getting sick. The feds already account for 66% of spending; raising that to 85% isn’t a sea change, and private insurance and health care will still exist just like private schools.
    — Education – we’ve paid for 1-12 for centuries, and upping that to 1-16 isn’t that big of a deal. Scrap the F-35 and you can pay for all outstanding student debt in the entire country. Think that might be a boost to the economy?
    — Trade – Let’s just say “oops” on this one. Free trade is a F’ing disaster. If I’m going out for drinks, I’ll try to go to a friend’s bar, because it does make a difference where you spend the money. Having a real manufacturing base is the only way to generate durable wealth. We screwed this one up royally.

    The overall message is that you can’t have real freedom without economic security. Union-busting and free trade have destroyed the economic security of the middle class. We need to build it back up, and the way to do so is to take the government back from the oligarchs, spike the TPP/TTIP and roll back NAFTA/CAFTA/etc., and start taxing the rich to make up for the unfathomable transfer of wealth that has occurred since wages and productivity were decoupled back in the 70s. Since 2008, the 1% has sucked up $4T in QE to reinflate their asset bubbles, and since 1917, they’ve had the greatest corporate subsidy in history from the annual spending for the military, aka high-priced “muscle” for US corporations. It’s time to start collecting on those debts.

    • billious
      February 16, 2016 at 11:00 pm

      This guy gets it.

    • Kuildeous
      February 17, 2016 at 6:52 pm

      It’s not often that a comment is as interesting as the original article.

    • laikos
      February 18, 2016 at 8:55 am

      Excellent comment to an excellent article. I especially like your sentence, “Capitalism without Bankruptcy is Catholicism without Hell.” Very articulate.

    • DukeGanote
      February 18, 2016 at 9:53 am

      I’m heretical enough to say we should stop using university funding to create NFL farm teams. If US universities were like European ones with only basically intramural sports, we could probably dramatically cut tuition. Don’t get me started on NFL stadium tax subsidies!

      • Amalek Haman
        February 18, 2016 at 11:12 pm

        Damn good point. Many of the students in the football program can barely do simple arithmetic, let alone handle a 4-year college program without constant support/tutors doing their work for them covertly.

      • Rocky Bobby
        February 19, 2016 at 9:38 am

        Football is highly profitable for many public universities.

      • DukeGanote
        February 19, 2016 at 10:29 am

        A few but not all. Regardless, sports are distraction from the core mission of an educational institution. Furthermore I find it ridiculous that the highest paid state employees tend to be university football coaches.

      • Rocky Bobby
        February 19, 2016 at 11:11 am

        Those states that you’re referring to are states with highly profitable college football programs, no?

      • DukeGanote
        February 19, 2016 at 11:59 am

        Profitable or prestige-motivated-and-tax-subsidized, who knows? Either way it’s a distraction from the core educational mission– as the rumpus about unionizing and paying student-athletes simply confirms.

      • Rocky Bobby
        February 19, 2016 at 12:02 pm

        There’s no “who knows” about it – public university budgets are public record. Regardless, your comment seems out of place on an article such as this. The US President has little say in how state universities spend their money.

      • DukeGanote
        February 19, 2016 at 12:06 pm

        Title IX indicates the Feds have a lot of say. And it’s entirely relevant to say taxes should go for education not entertainment.

      • hjc4604
        February 20, 2016 at 12:13 pm

        But by providing loans to students that could not otherwise afford them, they allow tuitions to soar far in excess of inflation rates.

      • Rocky Bobby
        February 21, 2016 at 6:51 am


    • CivicMinded512
      February 18, 2016 at 5:47 pm

      Yes. Thank You!

    • wakethefuqquplibtards
      February 20, 2016 at 3:32 pm

      Bernie HATES Capitalism, so please, tell me, how is he going to bring it back?

      • latpatty
        February 21, 2016 at 3:12 pm

        What makes you think Bernie hates capitalism? Democratic socialists (as opposed to socialists like those in western Europe and Scandinavia – two different things, dont’cha know) DO believe in capitalism! Maybe you should do a little homework on democratic socialists.

      • wakethefuqquplibtards
        February 21, 2016 at 9:45 pm

        Bernie is not a Democratic Socialist, you can call him a Social Democrat, but he’s not a Democratic Socialist, I will call him what he truly is, a Communist. Communists do not believe in Capitalism.

        Democratic Socialists are right of center, Bernie Sanders is left of center. Hillary Clinton could be considered a Democratic Socialist, but not Bernie Sanders.

        Maybe YOU should do A LOT more homework on democratic socialists.

      • latpatty
        February 22, 2016 at 1:24 pm

        But @wakethefuqquplibtards you didn’t answer my question – what makes you think Bernie hates capitalism? And now, what makes you think he’a a communist? I have heard nothing to support your view except your vague assertion that he’s “left of center.” Well, yes, he is, but that doesn’t make him a communist. It makes him left of center, but still someone who supports capitalism

      • wakethefuqquplibtards
        February 22, 2016 at 4:40 pm

        See how Bernie Sanders is left of center on the Political Compass here:

        Now, let’s look at some Democratic Socialist countries on the Political Compass…

        Now to get an understanding of the Political Compass and how it identifies left of center as basically Communist and right of center as basically Capitalist (including Democratic Socialists).

      • wakethefuqquplibtards
        February 22, 2016 at 4:44 pm

        Just to clarify, Hillary Clinton is a Democratic Socialist, George Bush could even be considered a Democratic Socialist, Barack Obama easily considered a Democratic Socialist, but Bernie Sanders is no Democratic Socialist, he is a COMMUNIST.

      • divinity11
        March 31, 2016 at 6:04 pm

        Okay, now I realize you have absolutely no idea what the hell you are talking about.

        But I’m willing to take you under my wing, Daniel-son.

      • wakethefuqquplibtards
        May 11, 2016 at 6:22 pm

        You should look at the nations that are considered to be Democratic Socialist nations and acknowledge that they are quite far right, most aligning with George Bush and Hillary Clinton.

        Here, these links may get you up to par with people of much higher intelligence and far superior understanding of left and right.

      • divinity11
        May 12, 2016 at 6:12 am

        For starters, that site is bunk.

        The only interesting thing on it was where Sanders fell on the graph, as opposed to all the others. With the majority of the country in consensus that the US is headed in the wrong direction (as it has been for years), notice that he’s on the opposite side. To me, that is very telling. Complaining this country is going to crap, then voting for more-of-the-same, is idiotic. Want something different? The choice is clear.

      • wakethefuqquplibtards
        May 14, 2016 at 9:02 pm

        You find it interesting that Bernie Sanders fell in line with Communism?

      • divinity11
        May 16, 2016 at 5:57 am

        Like I said, a bunk site.

        I found it interesting Sanders was on the other side of the others. It’s funny, we as Americans all claim the economy, our country, everything is moving in the wrong direction, yet, we keep voting for more-of-the-same.

      • Gasper Johnson
        February 21, 2016 at 5:17 pm

        consider the difference between capitalism and commerce, one encourages trade the other encourages exploitation.

      • wakethefuqquplibtards
        February 21, 2016 at 9:47 pm

        I’m guessing you’re trying to say Capitalism encourages exploitation, right?

        Watch the following video and point out the exploitation for me please.

      • Gasper Johnson
        February 21, 2016 at 10:51 pm

        i like this video, twas was a fine example of commerce but didn’t address capitalism. Its confusing and although I didn’t find a neat video to help explain ill try. Free markets are fine, but of course ours are anything but free, rigged would be a much more accurate description.

        Trade is fine, but the exploitation comes in a much more insidious manner. Oh wait, there is a great video that explains the exploitation, The Story of Stuff!


      • wakethefuqquplibtards
        February 22, 2016 at 4:27 pm

        Rigged…by Democrats. I can give you a prime example based on my current employment.

        I work at a biodiesel plant, the government gives the company I work for $1 for every gallon of biodiesel we make, we produce about 120,000 gallons per day, so the government gives the company I work for about $120,000/day, costing taxpayers just shy of $44 million a year for our one little plant with an average of 11.25 employees on duty at any given time, if you say 11.25 employees at $20/hr, 24 hours a day, 365 days a year, employee costs comes out to be around $2 million dollars a year out of that $44 million. That’s only a portion of the corruption.

        We sell the biodiesel we make for $5/gal, a gallon of diesel at the pump includes 10% biodiesel, meaning 1/10th of a gallon of diesel is biodiesel, for a price increase of $0.50 per gallon due to that addition, so that addition costs consumers an additional $220 million per year at the pump, plus the $44 million in the subsidy, we’re up to $264 million…the tax on a gallon of diesel is about $0.42 per gallon, multiplied by the 440 million gallons is about $185 million, add that to the $264 million and the government has increased fuel costs by $449 million dollars on 440 million gallons, meaning the government has added $1.02 to the price of each gallon of fuel and that’s not even including what they make off of the oil producers. Diesel, here locally, is $1.79 per gallon, so the oil producer has $0.77 per gallon to cover the many different steps needed to produce a gallon of oil. The overseer of the whole operation ends up profiting about $0.05 per gallon of fuel, at $1.79 per gallon, that’s not even 3% profit for all that work, whereas the government puts in virtually no work and pulls at least $0.42 per gallon. Now, I want you to tell me where the exploitation is. Is it the “rich person” or is it the government?

      • Gasper Johnson
        February 22, 2016 at 10:58 pm

        Since you are asking where the exploitation is I can assume you didn’t
        watch the previous video I posted. This is unfortunate because it is
        really well researched.

        Thanks for sharing your experience. It is clear that there are many ways that government and business are colluding against the interests of the people. Nearly all politicians are involved in this process, democrats and republicans, This is the definition of corporate fascism and it is precisely what Bernie Sanders is standing against. The influence of money will continue to erode our democracy unless we make a stand.

      • Gasper Johnson
        February 23, 2016 at 2:38 pm

        This article gets to this point pretty well. Maybe you are a baby boomer and can relate?

        “the essential message
        of Sanders’s campaign: that the game is rigged, and the only thing to do is
        take on the employers. Her very
        recent adoption of that rhetoric notwithstanding, Clinton believes you can
        play the game and climb the ladder”

      • wakethefuqquplibtards
        February 23, 2016 at 4:38 pm

        Let me ask you to give me a dollar amount… If Mitt Romney made $310 million ($250 million after income taxes) in the oil industry, how much revenue did the government take in from the exact same (amount of) oil that he profited from?

      • Gasper Johnson
        February 23, 2016 at 5:30 pm

        I think what you want me to say is the gov gathered 60 million in taxes. I might say something about how our taxes go to gas subsidies, but Im feeling like this conversation is already starting to go off the rails.

        Here is a more important question. Are you here “to win” an argument? because the idea of winning is a good example of what is wrong with our political process. Left and ride, blue and red, we treat politics like sports. “who won the debate?” all of this is useless. The point of good politics is to determine if there is an outcome that benefits everyone. If we can agree to this, who knows what else we can agree to?

      • wakethefuqquplibtards
        February 24, 2016 at 2:17 pm

        No, I want you to realize that in order for Mitt Romney to make $250 million in the oil industry, the government received at least $2 BILLION in revenue, the $2 billion is just in excise taxes, their total take was probably more like $3.75 billion.

      • Gasper Johnson
        February 24, 2016 at 6:56 pm

        Why, that’s a lot of money! I think im starting to comprehend your idea: there is a lot corruption in government. So who is gonna do something about it?

        How does your company’s sweetheart deal with the government result in Sanders
        being a communist? Do you think he will be more likely to continue these
        kind of abuses even though he has refused money so many times before?

        There are 3 choices: Sanders, Trump, or everyone else**

        * Everyone else will continue the same path that has lead us to vast economic inequality.
        * Trump will do what is best for Trump. Not a great businessman: several bankruptcies, not a good person: several divorces and a trail of pissed off people in his wake.
        * I am biased so why don’t you tell me why Sanders would be a worse choice than those other options.

        ** obviously there are plenty of differences between the candidates but money is what it poisoning the political water and unless we fix that nothing else substantive will change. Instead we will be condemned to frantically applying band-aids to a gangrenous patient.

      • wakethefuqquplibtards
        February 25, 2016 at 4:26 am

        My company’s deal with real Democratic Socialists has nothing to do with Sanders being a Communist, his own actions and opinions are what makes him a Communist. (you may be one as well, after all, you support him)

        He will absolutely continue this corruption, he’s all in on reducing/eliminating fossil fuel usage, biodiesel is renewable energy, there is no doubt in my mind he will support it, this raises prices on consumers, if you want to keep paying more and more for the products you buy, then by all means, vote for Bernie.

        You act as if Bernie has refused money…he’s long been bought by corrupt unions, is partially funded by George Soros—one of those evil billionaires Bernie complains about.

        I don’t support Trump, hell, I don’t even like Trump, but if he wins the nomination, I’ll surely vote for him because he may be a horrible person, but at least he’s not a Communist.

        Let me guess, you believe the Citizens United v. FEC case is the worst thing to ever happen to politics?

        Unions have been the Democrats honey pot for many decades, let me guess, you think they fight for workers? Hardly…they’d rather fund Democrat campaigns or social activist bullsh!t to fill their lazy friends pockets with union workers’ dues.

        As someone with a strong work ethic, who is willing to work 84+ hours a week, I’ve definitely fared far better working for Republicans. If I wanted to work a measly 40 hours a week and barely scrape by, on the brink of wanting the government to steal other peoples money for me because I was dumb and lazy, then I’d probably support Democrats.

      • Gasper Johnson
        February 25, 2016 at 10:50 am

        I asked you to defend your assertions and instead you have just added more. This is not an acceptable method of communication. Bluster and hyperbole might rule the day in the short attention span theater we call news media but it makes me want to disconnect from our conversation. Remember how I asked if you were trying to engage people with your ideas
        or you were trying to win?

        I can see that not being a communist is very important to you. Alas, I’m not convinced you know what that word means. You seem to throw it around like it is an insult. Maybe 20 years ago it might have been a rude thing to say but now it seems kinda dated. The GOP will say all the things you just said about Sanders and they will assume it will have a chilling effect. But it will make them look old.

        If your argument is that we should be more like you, a person who would rather spend more than 84 hours a week working than enjoying the free time you have available than you sir are what is wrong with this country. Maybe take some time between posting online and your overpaid job to build some stronger connections with your friends and family. Then you wont be struggling to come up with ludicrous attacks at 4am. I mention this because its very common for men in their 50s and older to feel like their only role in life is to be a provider. That’s a noble idea but it limits you and you are much more than your bank account.

      • wakethefuqquplibtards
        February 27, 2016 at 4:49 pm

        Not being a Communist should be very important to EVERY AMERICAN because America is a free market/Capitalist (opposite of Communism) country. Feel free to disconnect from the conversation, I won’t miss you at all. Its not about what the GOP would say or has said or even thinks about Bernie Sanders, it doesn’t make one look “old” to call a Communist a Communist, I’m 29, so tell me, do I look 80? I have a strong connection with my family and friends, but does that make me a Communist?? NOT AT ALL. So why are you trying to equate Communism with close families? Who are you trying to fool???

        Even if you want to consider Bernie a “Democratic Socialist” understand that the difference between Traditional Socialism and “Democratic Socialism” is: Traditional Socialism attempts to wrestle your liberties and control of government away from you by force of arms while Democratic Socialism deceives you into foolishly relinquishing your freedoms and powers.

      • Gasper Johnson
        February 29, 2016 at 2:19 pm

        So you are 29… months? Because you sound like you just picked up a Junior McCarthy’s First Coloring Book and have been carefully drawing anything you don’t agree with your favorite color, Commie Red. I worry you are following a prescribed path that will lead you to anger and bitter distrust of your neighbor. When you come to an idea you don’t understand what is your first reaction? Most people in the US go into Fight or Flight mode. They deny that anyone could disagree with them and therefore the other must be wrong and refuses to listen to why there is a difference of opinion.

        This behavior is the start of our society’s downfall. If we loose our curiosity, our interest as to why another disagrees with us then we shut our minds off. We only seek out confirmation with an ever shrinking circle of people with whom we have not yet found discord.

        It’s not like this in some other parts of the world. Some places they are exited to learn from others because they understand how engaging with an open mind could benefit them. But that is not what is happening here. With every post you have tried to push an ideology without offering up factual statements to support it.

        I ask about your family because anyone who wants to spend more of their life working than enjoying the fruits of their labor doesn’t actually value life. Ask someone who is about to die, they never say I wish I had spent more time working. This is not a left or right issue, its a issue of humanity. If we loose humanity than it doesn’t matter what color you see people as because they are not even people anymore.

        I would suggest you watch “Good night and good luck” Its a fabulous piece of historical cinema and it might open a window into your own delusion. But then you didn’t watch any of the other links I shared with ya right?

      • wakethefuqquplibtards
        March 27, 2016 at 1:18 am

        I suggest you watch The Fountainhead

      • divinity11
        March 31, 2016 at 5:59 pm

        I’m taking it that you are unaware of Bernie’s first “real” job, as mayor of a fledgling city, and how he not only balanced the budget, he also grew their local economy.

        You obviously have Internet access. Start using it wisely.

      • wakethefuqquplibtards
        May 11, 2016 at 6:26 pm

        And he did this through the same system he hates….free market capitalism. Communists are usually very well aware that capitalism is a far more successful economic ideology than their own, but their desire to control people overcomes their ability to think logically.

      • divinity11
        May 12, 2016 at 5:43 am

        Dumb. He doesn’t “hate” the free market. He, and I, hate the abuses that take place in the free market.

      • wakethefuqquplibtards
        May 14, 2016 at 8:57 pm

        And you have no objections to the abuses of socialism/communism?

      • divinity11
        May 16, 2016 at 5:58 am

        You keep putting socialism and communism together.

        We can’t have a real discussion, and you can’t actually learn anything, until you have an understanding of the differences. Choose to remain ignorant. It’s your best option.

      • wakethefuqquplibtards
        July 22, 2016 at 4:15 pm

        I understand the differences, but one thing remains the same with both of them — they’re both anti-economic freedom…if you don’t have economic freedom, what are you? A SLAVE.

      • divinity11
        August 15, 2016 at 11:30 am

        Nonsense. Investing in our PEOPLE, and NOT corporations, is democratic socialism, and has proven to be successful in just about any economic metric. Education is an investment that pays for itself many times over via taxes. Giving tax breaks to profitable corporations who then hire foreigners on HB1 visas speaks more to the anti-economic freedoms you refer to.

  7. RoyBeaver
    February 16, 2016 at 10:59 pm

    The conservative argument that we should all be responsible for ourselves benefits those who have much to much money and power. How Mr Norman broke thru the constant propaganda is a mystery to me but I very much appreciate his point of view! If those on the left and those on the right could come to an understanding, we might get things done.

    Let’s start with clean air, clean water, clean food, good schools, well paying jobs, health care that is readily available, etc etc etc. What the conservatives I know just don’t get is that a prosperous country is good for everyone, including the billionaires! When the wealth is spread out, it makes the economy more fluid and robust. When the wealth is concentrated at the top, it keeps the rest of us in perpetual misery.

    We can come together to make this country work for everyone! Go Bernie!

    • Dayna Hamilton
      February 18, 2016 at 7:26 am

      There is no such thing as spreading the wealth out. This is a pipe-dream that you lefties can’t seem to let go of. If you want to see countries where the wealth has been spread out, (sort of, the politicians still have all the money) go to Cuba. That’s a country with a really small government. Sweden and Norway are socialist countries, there is NO way to ever get ahead. You can work really hard to try to save money to buy things, like a car, but the government always finds a way to take most of it away from you. But yeah, I guess the healthcare is mostly free, if you don’t mind waiting for certain things. Just keep in mind, these are very small countries. Think how our inefficient government will run if it’s running EVERYTHING on such a large scale.

      • RoyBeaver
        February 18, 2016 at 9:00 am

        Thank you for the feedback.

        The government can be as capable as it wants to be! Remember that the government sent men to the moon and back!

        We are a tribal species and that has given us an advantage. The idea that you can make it alone is not borne out by the evidence.

        Spreading the wealth is called prosperity. What kind of country do you want?

      • Debbietee
        February 18, 2016 at 10:31 am

        Spreading the wealth is a pipe dream? No, it’s how it USED TO BE and how it IS in countries where the citizens demanded it. Yes, Norway, Sweden, France, Canada, New Zealand – all those countries where the people have a better quality of life than we do here and where the people cannot fathom WHY we put up with the lack of quality of life here, and the lack of government ‘for the people’.

        And the fact that they are smaller countries is actually an argument AGAINST why it should be able to be done there; we are still, supposedly, the richest country in the world but don’t give people as good a life! It’s shameful. However, I suspect that being so large and spread out was perhaps one reason why people could NOT keep tabs as well on what our government was doing. That has changed, thankfully.

      • ThisnThatNH
        February 20, 2016 at 10:32 am

        Sweden has become the first of the Western European nations to take a major step away from socialism. In the 1990s Swedes began to realize what socialism and statism were
        doing to the quality of life in their country. As a result, they
        elected Sweden’s first conservative government since the end of World
        War II. Knowing precisely what needed to be done to pull their nation
        back from the abyss of economic ruin, Sweden’s new conservative
        government quickly went to work cutting taxes on businesses and
        individuals. Things began to change for the better almost immediately.

        Kinda shoots a big hole in your isn’t Socialism just great argument.

      • Erica_JS
        February 18, 2016 at 3:32 pm

        “Sweden and Norway are socialist countries, there is NO way to ever get ahead.”

        If by “get ahead” you mean “a tiny chance of becoming a billionaire,” you are right. But many, many, many people would prefer a guarantee of health care, a good education, and a roof over their heads, to this infinitesimal chance of vast riches.

      • TT
        February 19, 2016 at 4:08 am

        Dayna strikes me as the kind of person who thinks freedom is about working minimum wage to earn money to buy lottery tickets. For 99.9% of the population, that’s the only possibility they have of ever being rich, only the really stupid ones think it’s a solid plan.

      • RON_KING
        February 18, 2016 at 10:43 pm

        What we have had for the last 40 years is corporate socialism; guaranteed profits and insurance against losses backed by taxpayers, legislation limiting competition from startups and smaller businesses, anti-free market policies (too big to fail is NOT a free market), corporate protection from liability in criminal activity (foreclosing on loans not issued is one example), eminent domain for private profit, subsidies for businesses who then LEAVE the country.

        Keep this up and we will need foreign aid from Ethiopia. “Feed the Children! Americans are starving!” Mexico WILL build a wall to keep US out cuz all the jobs are going there!

      • Nita
        February 20, 2016 at 12:04 pm

        So, it is okay for “wealth” to be taken from the poor and shrinking middle class and redistributed to the rich, but not rightfully tax the rich so the poor and middle class get a break? We already have wealth distribution, only it is backwards, but that seems to be okay with those like you Dayna. Please explain why that is okay, but not the other way around.

  8. Curtis M. Michaels
    February 17, 2016 at 6:02 pm

    I was raised in the same conservatism you were. Because my state has closed primaries, I’ve registered as a Democrat for this election so that I can vote for Bernie. The only thing I would like more than Bernie as President, would be if Gary Johnson were his VP. I doubt they could come to that compromise, but to have two honest people in the white house would give me even greater hope for our future.

    • Crawforc
      February 20, 2016 at 9:58 am

      A Sanders/Johnson ticket would be a dream come true.

  9. Dayna Hamilton
    February 18, 2016 at 6:39 am

    I’m not going to waste my time reading your delusional justifications for why you think you’re conservative. If you support Bernie, you’re NOT conservative. Simple as that.

    • Incognus
      February 18, 2016 at 7:58 am

      If you choose to comment on something you haven’t even read, you’ve already wasted your time. That’s common sense.

      • Dayna Hamilton
        February 19, 2016 at 10:52 am

        I didn’t waste as much as I would have if I’d read this stupid article.

      • billious
        February 20, 2016 at 7:48 am

        You’re not a very happy person, are you? I hope things improve for you.

    • Audrey Smilley
      February 18, 2016 at 10:11 am

      I’m picturing a middle school girl, hands over ears, screaming LALALALALALALALALALA because she’s scared to hear her friend tell her about the boy that likes her

      • Dayna Hamilton
        February 19, 2016 at 10:57 am


      • Audrey Smilley
        February 19, 2016 at 1:47 pm

        …just pictured it again.

    • Debbietee
      February 18, 2016 at 10:32 am

      LOL – you tell him!! You are not going to look at a different viewpoint, or possibly explore another perspective, THAT’S the way to be a Patriot, yeah!!


      • Dayna Hamilton
        February 19, 2016 at 10:57 am

        The headline is enough. I don’t need to waste my time ‘exploring new and fascinating perspectives and different viewpoints’. I’m not some brain dead liberal.

      • Debbietee
        February 21, 2016 at 10:26 am

        Of course you’re not, you are a brain-dead conservative, we all can see that.

    • JohnMoriarty
      February 18, 2016 at 5:42 pm

      I did read it, because I really wanted to understand how one could make this amazing leap, but I would like those 10 minute back. We’ve all been scammed. The proof points the author uses to rep his Conservative credibility are about 1% of what true Conservatism is. Certainly personal responsibility is important, but so is the rule of law, and small government. You can’t be for small government one day and the next think it is OK to support a guy who will take the current leviathan that we call the federal government and explode its growth and power exponentially. I call BS.

      • Dayna Hamilton
        February 19, 2016 at 10:55 am

        Thank you! I’d heard similar comments from others who did read it. But for me the headline was enough. Socialism is the COMPLETE opposite of conservatism. Unless of course you want to redefine what conservatism means, but then we’re no longer living in reality.

  10. Debbietee
    February 18, 2016 at 10:23 am

    Fantastic piece, and you are not alone – I have seen MANY Conservatives who will vote for Bernie, fed up with the greed and the ‘fake issues’ while our futures and our environment and our money continues to be stolen!

  11. sebra leaves
    February 18, 2016 at 10:51 am

    Thanks, A really good explanation of what matters to Americans regardless of which side they stand on. I particularly like this statement I make a similar claim all the time. “a clear majority of Americans have a similar view of where we’d like to be – we just disagree on how to get there.”

    Let’s not forget that we all share the same goals.

  12. Daniel J Cartier
    February 18, 2016 at 11:25 am

    Dude… thank you for writing such a wonderful article. I’m far from being Conservative (I’m actually a liberal gay guy living in Tennessee), yet I agree with everything you said 100%.

    I’ve stated time and again, this is no longer a “Red State vs. Blue State” problem. It’s not a Black, White, Gay, or Straight problem either. We’re way past that. The REAL problems all Americans face now – whether we want to admit it or not – are massive, and they flow directly from top.

    You are absolutely correct. We ARE living in an Oligarchy. The “freedom” our troops have valiantly fought for is turning into nothing more than a feel-good slogan that doesn’t actually exist. True freedom can’t afford to exist, when powerful global reaching corporations have purchased all the freedom for themselves.

    And even if freedom did still exist for the rest of us… what does the word “free” even mean now? Are Michigan residents “free” to not drink the tainted water (they still have to pay for) while the Nestle Cooperation located 200 miles away gets to pump it up and bottle it (and then sell it back to them). Are we “free” to work more than ever, never take vacations or have time off, and STILL not have anything left to put away for our retirement? Our we “free” to step all over one another as we fight for dwindling scraps of opportunity as the income gap widens?

    Because… that’s what we’re devolving into, and admitting it is one of the patriotic things we can do. If we don’t admit it, it will just get worse. Most people see the writing on the wall by now – and those who don’t soon enough will if nothing changes. That thought scares the hell out of me. So many people have nothing saved for retirement, they’re living paycheck to paycheck and being charged ridiculous amounts of money for basic human necessities, and yet… we demonize the poor and make it seem like it’s all their fault for making bad decisions in life. “You just gotta’ pull yourself up by your bootstraps…”

    Yeah… except some people don’t even have bootstraps to pull up – so that lame statement is infuriating. Soon I fear – it will get bad enough that even the strongest doubters among us won’t be able to deny what’s happened any longer.

    This is why I too support Bernie’s vision. Most of us (on each side of the spectrum) work hard. We all have hopes, and I believe we all want to leave the world better off than how we found it. At least I do. Again – great piece. I could seriously write more – but I need to get back to work myself – so I’ll just end with THANK YOU.

    • billious
      February 18, 2016 at 1:08 pm

      Thanks for the feedback Daniel! We’re going to break the echo chamber and start reaching out to people that disagree with us. When we’re all clear who the real enemy is, things are going to change.

    • CivicMinded512
      February 18, 2016 at 10:46 pm

      Bravo. 🙂

  13. overbyte
    February 18, 2016 at 11:53 am

    Amtrak Acela is our fastest train. It looks a lot like the high-speed Chinese and Japanese and French trains. Its top speed is peak 266 km/h but normal service speed 241 km/h, whereas the Japanese bullet train and French TGV run at 320 km/h and the Chinese maglev operates at a maximum of 421 km/h. The Chinese are not building more of the maglev train lines because they found it is too inefficient. The TGV in a speed test reached 574 km/h. The problem in the US is that our track system is not built for such high speeds. We need an infrastructure upgrade, just as Bernie Sanders has proposed.

  14. February 18, 2016 at 12:47 pm

    You arent a conservative and really never have been. While trump is not a conservative, he is more liberal than Sanders, you aren’t actually a conservative. Conservatives want to conserve, we believe capitalism is the worst form of economic system except for every other one tried. We believe that if you make a change you make it it slowly. Lastly we believe that States, Counties and Cities should be given much more power to govern their communities than the federal government.
    We do not believe healthcare is a right, or that marriage once you remove the rational basis makes any sense to exist. (BTW the supreme court ruled in the 1800 marriage exclusively is allowed to exist even though it violates the constitution because it supports procreation. It isnt about sex or love FYI. It should be wholly struck down as currently interpreted)

    Why on earth would we elect a symbol.

  15. overfiend
    February 18, 2016 at 2:38 pm

    Conservative? That’s awesome! I didn’t know it was April 1st already!!

  16. Robert Gurganious
    February 18, 2016 at 5:30 pm

    Excellent article on the failings of conservatism! I can certainly see that the path from 1950 that leads to 2016 is strewn with many dead ideals once held close by the GOP. It’s hard to apportion blame but, yeah, the Tea Party gets a good chunk of it. But it may have started back with the Military Industrial Complex – that even Ike warned us to be careful with. The fall of Communism left such a vacuum to be filled that it was inevitable it would be filled with new enemies. And, those enemies are so weak compared to those we’ve defeated, conservatives have to prop them up to induce proper fear so said MIC can continue to thrive and profit. But, while such smoke and mirrors, is great for the corporations and banks, they also needed a moral enemy to fight at home to give them the electorate – so they chose American citizens to point at – homosexuals, minorities, non-Christians, immigrants…but that mad scramble to lay blame is causing the GOP to splinter into tiny pieces right before our eyes. Which is very dangerous because a single party is a ruling party and that can’t be allowed to happen.

  17. Mindee
    February 18, 2016 at 7:43 pm

    This is a very thoughtful, well-written piece. Mr. Norman’s logical assertions and balanced analysis are refreshing and thought-provoking. Thank you for sharing!

  18. Applehead
    February 18, 2016 at 8:18 pm

    Bad news.You’re a leftish liberal and always have been.

  19. Roger Romero
    February 18, 2016 at 9:05 pm

    Great piece. My only disagreement is comparing Oakland and Detroit. Oakland at its worst was maybe 25 years ago, now its anything but Detroit. Go visit, its such a terrible comparison, it makes me wonder about the rest of your arguments.

  20. Amalek Haman
    February 18, 2016 at 11:10 pm

    I’m not sure if this guy “Bill Norman” really is such a libertarian (let alone a political scientist who studies libertarian trends in countries as far-flung as Indonesia!). A quick google search on “Bill Norman” “Ron Paul” yields nothing relevant, and if he’s truly against crony capitalism and unnecessary wars in the mideast, he should have been an enthusiastic supporter of Ron’s in both 2008 and 2012.

  21. Amalek Haman
    February 18, 2016 at 11:16 pm

    Also, how does “xenophobia” imply homophobia, as the author says it does? Last time I checked, anti-White liberals were bitching and moaning about how White homosexual men generally refuse to date non-Whites (with the partial exception of Asians).

  22. CivicMinded512
    February 19, 2016 at 12:05 am

    Bill Norman, Thank you for this thorough thoughtful essay.

    At different stages of MY life, I have voted Republican, Democrat, and even Green once. My ‘party disloyalty’ bothered me (as The Party intended). Until I realized that I was an Independent. I was voting each time for the issues and candidates that BEST MET MY needs and civic goals. Straight-Line Party voting, without informing & choosing for myself, has ALWAYS BOTHERED ME as mindless and lazy.

    This year, I am again informing myself about the candidates. And I was open to both major parties. I have watched most of the televised debates and town halls, and many interviews. I have read A LOT. I have also decided to vote for Bernie Sanders. For all of your reasons, and more.

    The vicious intolerance and puritanical pride of this year’s crop of Republicans has turned me away. How can they pontificate on ‘personal responsibility’ and ‘local/state rights’, on one hand. While seeking intimate knowledge of private medical choices and defending unlimited Government spying on us; and often overturning local/state voter choices if it doesn’t match GOP goals. They screech ‘Religious Liberty’, ‘Family Values and ‘Right to Life’. As long as the religion is Christian, the family is Straight, and once the baby is born they deny all support for it.

    Here in Texas, the GOP is PROUDLY STRANGLING Public Education, Medicaid, Voters’ Rights, and starving State Departments that serve the Public. Like Transportation, Utility Systems, and staffing at many levels are below need. But there is a HUGE Piggy Bank (the Rainy Day Fund) that grows ever fatter with the siphoned funding; Which they use primarily as a bragging trophy. And they have successfully Gerrymandered everything to perpetuate their awfulness. It is disgusting.

    Top to bottom, this year at least, the GOP seems crowded with Fascists. And I am ashamed of them.

  23. Amalek Haman
    February 19, 2016 at 12:13 am

    Anyways, the attack on the Koch brothers is stupid since they’re libertarians on economics (thus agree with the author) and support open borders so much that when Bernie was in appealing-to-White-people mode early in the campaign he called open borders a “Koch brothers” idea!

  24. Jonny Picklechin
    February 19, 2016 at 3:26 am

    This is a tremendous piece of work. A great perspective, articulate, fluid. Also what a great set of links and references for further research on any of the policies and issues that matter. Next should be a “Janet and John” summary so it can reach the masses.

  25. Anna Harcourt
    February 19, 2016 at 8:37 am

    Speaking as an old leftie, (of the European variety) this was a great read! For those of us across the pond who are suffocating under the deadly weight of Trump propaganda, (our media is awash with it; Sanders gets much less coverage), it’s a relief to be reminded that sensible voices still exist, both conservative and others and may yet prevail.

  26. billious
    February 19, 2016 at 8:54 am

    I just wanted to post a thought provoking follow up piece. Charles Koch is in part agreeing with Bernie Sanders’ principle issues:

  27. rvnc
    February 19, 2016 at 2:52 pm

    This is a nice piece. The argument from the right that bothers me the most is the argument that liberals somehow feel they have a right to “other people’s money.” But that whole conservative theory ignores the fact that the people who are very wealthy right now are wealthy because they paid politicians to write laws that operate in their favor — quite often laws that the average citizen would call “unfair.”
    Adam Smith, the inventor of capitalism,explicitly said the rich should pay a higher tax rate than others. He also would have been appalled at a political system where massively profitable industries can bribe politicians to get government subsidies that the taxpayer pays for. And it’s simply not true that “both sides are equally corrupt.” One side of the aisle has been much more consistently in favor of writing laws that help big businesses and the wealthy. And it simply isn’t a democracy anymore when that happens.
    For me, the Bernie Sanders movement isn’t about free stuff — it’s about getting enough people to vote that we can take back our democracy.
    Both political sides can have a healthy argument — left-wing and right-wing — about what the minimum wage should be and how much is too much. We can have a healthy argument about immigration, or about incarcerating people (and whether that’s more effective than employing people so they don’t commit crimes.) There are plenty of healthy places to debate. There are plenty of grey areas.
    But without a democracy, all debate becomes pointless. When Congress is bought and paid for, the real, healthy debates don’t even matter. And I have a big problem with that.

  28. James Wilson
    February 20, 2016 at 6:49 am

    Good article but Sanders can’t get it done. Trump can. They agree where it matters, but a 90% tax rate is a fast track to totalitarian communism, and while Uncle Bernie may be a benevolent leader of the centralized control structure necessary to get things done his way, he will eventually die and someone else will fill his shoes and the helm of all that nearly absolute power. Bad idea. Very bad idea. Do it Trumps way and, in the process, also uncover the truth behind 9-11 and lift the curtain on the secret government; the globalist secret government that Bernie Sanders also bows to.

  29. February 20, 2016 at 10:22 am

    Hear hear!

  30. Hudie Evans
    February 20, 2016 at 11:40 am

    This is total B.S. !!! This nation was never founded as a “Democracy ” The ignorant masses have been conditioned to believe in a “democracy” by the Public Relations Department (Mass-Media) The (Mass-Media) owned by a few families fills the “Sheeple’s Heads with Lies and distortions.
    Fact #1 A democracy is an unstable form of government.
    Fact #2 The United States is a Republic !!!
    Fact #3 A “democracy” means rule by the majority. So if the ” majority” decides you must give up your property because they want to take possession of your property then it is ok.
    Fact 4 We had a system of “Laws”.The law says that this person is not guilty of any crime and his property should not be taken away.A Republic is the rule of Law
    Fact #5 A democracy is a transitional government from “anarchy” to a Republic on the right or to the other end of the spectrum to the left “Totalitarianism”.
    Bernie Sanders is pushing the ignorant and dumbed down toward “Totalitarianism”

  31. hjc4604
    February 20, 2016 at 12:09 pm

    Of course they ignore little tidbits like the fact that the presidents who preceded him were Democrats, FDR and Truman. I’m pretty sure it was FDR who ramped up the income tax rates. They also forget this little tidbit which I got from Wikipedia: “Eisenhower had a Republican Congress for only his first two years in office; in the Senate, the Republican majority was by a one-vote margin.” So there is no indication that Eisenhower had anything to do with the high marginal tax rate.

  32. wakethefuqquplibtards
    February 20, 2016 at 3:29 pm

    NOTE TO AUTHOR: Please read your last sentence; “I believe in personal responsibility, democracy, self-determination, capitalism and the creation of the greatest society on this planet. I firmly believe that electing Bernie Sanders is the conservative thing to do.”

    How is responsibility for others personal responsibility?
    America is not a Democracy, it is a Republic.
    Self-determination is individualism, surely you know of it through The Fountainhead.
    Capitalism is at odds with Communism, Bernie may call himself a “Democratic Socialist” but he is not a Democratic Socialist, he is a Communist, his hatred for Capitalism should’ve been a dead giveaway.
    The greatest society on this planet was created utilizing Capitalism, the thing Bernie hates the most, so the Conservative (of Liberalism) thing to do is to not let Bernie fool you, in which case you have failed.

  33. Landon Walsh
    February 20, 2016 at 10:10 pm

    Quite possibly the most fake(Though i’ll admit, creative.) BS I’ve read in a while. Seriously good job, most people are too ignorant to notice your mistakes in the writing.

  34. Simon Waterholes
    February 21, 2016 at 8:34 am

    I’ve read and re-read your article and I can’t help but notice time and time again you remark that you were concervitive yet you felt they were wrong. To me you sound more like someone surrounded by liberals and want to be rebellious. Perhaps you should sit down and look at what it is to be conservative today vs what it is to be a liberal today. You may find that you’re a liberal and just didn’t know it. You site your degree in political science and you of all people should understand that the right and left orbit the center. By today’s definition Abraham Lincoln would be a Democrat and vise versa for most of the republicans of the time. Someday even Rush Limbaugh will be viewed as a spokesperson for the Democrats. I don’t know you or other things about you but based on this article I’d say all you’re a liberal with the wrong membership card.

    I respect Bernie Sanders far above the other candidates both left and right. His platform has been consistent and he doesn’t waver. This for most politicians is suicide yet Bernie has always been a straight shooter. I don’t know who will prevail but I will not under any circumstances vote for Hillary Clinton.

    • billious
      February 21, 2016 at 2:35 pm

      SImon, if you read and re-read the article, you would catch the central premise that today’s Republican Party has abandoned the conservative principles I was raised to believe in. Richard Nixon was further to the left than Hillary Clinton (and about as shady and paranoid). Bernie Sanders is more or less running in the political space carved out by Eisenhower. The realities of our politics today is that the conversation shifted – where we used to oscillate between slightly liberal and slightly conservative, we now have corporate centrists vs. batshit crazy ideologues.

      We all have a hand in making this happen, and we can change the game with this election.

      • Pete Wells
        March 18, 2016 at 5:49 am

        He said that right and left orbit center so it would seem he did get the premise of the blog. I think Simon has a point. Label yourself whatever you like but vote for the person and not the party. What’s most disturbing to me about this race is that the will of the people on both sides is being ignored by the parties. The Republicans want a brokered convention while on the Democrat’s side the superdelegates are calling the race for Hillary.

        When did we suddenly become a monarchy?

  35. Michael Sweeney
    December 21, 2016 at 10:28 pm

    As a disillusioned democrat who is a big fan of Sanders and also in desperate need of some honest, non-vitriolic political discourse, I really loved this whole piece. Well done. It is talk like this that’s going to help get people through the schismatic times ahead and gives me faith that people that think differently from me even want to.